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PSVT

What is paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)?

Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) is episodes of rapid heart rate that start in a part of the heart above the ventricles. The term paroxysmal means from time to time.

 

Why You Should Care?
Symptoms?
Risk Factors?
Complications?
Treatment?

Why you should care:

• SVT is a common entity in clinical practice and a relatively common occurrence in the emergency department.

• The incidence of SVT is approximately 35 cases per 100,000 patients with a prevalence of 2.25 cases per 1,000 in the general population.

• Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter are the most common subtypes of SVT, affecting approximately 2 million patients in the United States.

• The most common of the PSVT is atrial fibrillation with a prevalence rate of approximately 0.4% to 1% occurring in men and women equally, it is projected to affect as many as 7.5 million patients by 2050.

• The risk of developing PSVT was found to be twice in women as compared to men in a population-based study, with the prevalence of the PSVT higher with age.

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Symptoms:

Heart  palpitations, often described as a "rapid heartbeat." Other symptoms include the following:

Light headedness

Weakness and fatigue

Shortness of breath

• Chest pressure

Syncope  (passing out)

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Causes and Risk Factors:

Causes:

  • It can develop when doses of the heart medicine, digitalis, are too high.

  • It can also occur with a condition known as  Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which is most often seen in young people and infants.

Risk Factors:

Alcohol use

Caffeine use  (passing out)

• Illicit drug use

• Smoking

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Treatment:

PSVT that occurs only once in a while may not need treatment if you don't have symptoms or other heart problems.

You can try the following techniques to interrupt a fast heartbeat during an episode of PSVT:

• Valsalva maneuver. To do this, you hold your breath and strain, as if you were trying to have a bowel movement.

• Coughing while sitting with your upper body bent forward.

• Splashing ice water on your face.

You should avoid smoking, caffeine, alcohol, and illicit drugs.

Long-term treatment for people who have repeat episodes of PSVT, or who also have heart disease, may include:

Cardiac ablation  , a procedure used to destroy small areas in your heart that may be causing the rapid heartbeat (currently the treatment of choice for most PSVTs).

• Daily medicines to prevent repeat episodes.

Pacemakers to override the fast heartbeat (on occasion may be used in children with PSVT who have not responded to any other treatment).

• Surgery to change the pathways in the heart that send electrical signals (this may be recommended in some cases for people who need other heart surgery.

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Complications:

If other heart disorders are present, it can lead to congestive heart failure or angina.

References:

 

https://www.medicinenet.com/paroxysmal_supraventricular_tachycardia_psvt/article.htm#what_is_paroxysmal_supraventricular_tachycardia_psvt
http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=117&pid=1&gid=000183
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4295736/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507699/

 

* CIS does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The content is for informational purposes only.